What does productivity mean?

I noticed that I choose to write English entry when I feel like being philosophical or contemplative, and to write Japnese entry when I feel what I will write about will be pretty factual and not offensive to general public.

Departing from Tokyo, I went with 2 of my clients to do some research work in the US, New York City, Boston, Grand Rapids (MI), San Francisco in a period of 10 days. The trip was fraught with minor irritations from losing the ring given to me by my mother 18 years ago in one of the the airplanes to flight cancellations affecting appointment time to one of the luggage rollers being smashed up when it came out on the luggage corral at an airport, just to name a few. But the meetings were stimulating and provided excellent information for the research, and the three of us had a blast together, truly a serendipetous journey.

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Along the way, I kept on hearing people’s different perspective about “work”. A young taxi driver who drove me from LaGuardia Airport to the hotel I stayed in told me his parents are upset that he enjoys his job as a taxi driver and does not exert himself in book learnings. A lady in late 50’s who helped me at a counter at a drugstore in Midtown Manhattan said, “we all have to work hard to survive in this city”. She seemed to enjoy life thought. Another lady who’s also in the late 50’s said, “In this country, we have to work to live.” She seemed a bit unhappy.

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In between these two encounters we met many people, mostly people who were happy with their jobs, people who were responsible for creating offices that enables work that are fit for their companies.

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We all agreed that productivity we were talking about is about how work can be carried out efficiently and effectively for their business. It seemed that somehow, we are not certain of the details of productivity. Those who are performing the work have different ideas about productivity too. It seems that happy people are more effective in their work, and happiness seemed to be caused by having hopes, as Barbara Perry talks about.

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I would like to know what makes knowlege workers have hope. It seems serendipetous life experience and having the right loving people and teachers at critical time of their life help. Is there any way to make that happen systematically?

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